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FIFA wants international help for trapped Afghan women players

World football federation FIFA has called on various governments to request the emergency evacuation of female players from Afghanistan.

They are said to fear for their lives after the Taliban’s takeover of the Afghan capital Kabul.

FIFA said the situation in Afghanistan “remains unstable and very worrying”. A statement added: “We remain in contact with the Afghanistan Football Federation, and other stakeholders, and continue to receive updates from players in the country.”

EditPro | Lagos Metropolitan newspaper

Players’ organisation Fifpro is also calling for help.

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The union said it was working with governments to establish an evacuation plan, adding: “The ambition is to bring as many people to safety as possible.”

Earlier this week, former Afghanistan national women’s team captain Khalida Popal pleaded with sporting bodies to “help get our players safe” because she fears for those left behind under the Taliban rule.

Many of the country’s female footballers have gone into hiding since the takeover.

“I have not been able to sleep, I have been crying and feeling helpless,” said Popal, who was pivotal in forming the first Afghanistan women’s football team in 2007.

Haley Carter, a former assistant coach of the Afghan women’s team and US Marines veteran said she had received a message from one player saying: “They are going to kill us. They don’t want girls to play football and we’re in risk.”

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